I’ve heard folks speak in placid tones about suffering and destruction due to climate change, widespread poverty and inequality, and the mass extinctions of species. It’s as if they have passed judgment on humankind and decided the degeneration of our societies and the degradation of our environment are fair punishments for our misdeeds. They seem to think we might as well resign ourselves to our universal comeuppance because we deserve it.
I understand it can be easier to resign yourself than fight. I understand a certain level of acceptance can decrease the psychological and emotional stress. But becoming comfortable with a sentence of global death and destruction without even a struggle?
In order to meet the challenges we face as a global community, it’s essential for us to passionately love life itself. This goes beyond enjoying our own personal existences – our homes, families, friends, and entertainments. This is about being a mad, blind fan of aliveness in all of its forms – life with a capital L.
You know what I’m talking about. You have experienced this kind of passionate love for Life itself whether you realize it or not.
You’ve tasted this irrational and inexplicable love when the sunshine has come through the window and placed a glow on some mundane object like your tea cup or a lamp, revealing how remarkable the simplest thing can be. Or when you’ve been out walking and for a moment everything lines up – the crisp air, the sidewalk leading off into the distance, the calls of birds in the trees above. Or when you’ve gotten lost in a particularly beautiful piece of music, witnessed a spontaneous act of kindness, buried your face in your dog’s fur, or watched your child succeed at something. You can experience this love anytime, anywhere – usually in little moments you can’t adequately describe to anyone else. If you tried, the experience would sound ridiculously unremarkable. It would be a little like trying to get someone else to see your lover the way you do.
At such moments you’re not thinking, “Wow, isn’t Life great after all?” You’re not placing your experience in the “good” category to see if it manages to weigh out the bad. Instead, you’re directly experiencing the miracle of being alive. You enter the space evoked by poetry and subtle glances.
When you taste this love for Life itself, when you remember it and nourish it, you know Life is worth fighting for no matter what.
Think of someone you madly, passionately love. Wouldn’t you protect them without a moment’s hesitation, even if it meant risking your own life?
This is the kind of protection Life needs. Not because it deserves it. Because you love it.